5200 miles, 12states, 10 days and I still have a ways to go.

Two weeks of travelling across the US with my familly not only spoiled me, but my husband too.  We each keep saying “I just want to pack up and leave again.”  Although, I’m not so sure the boys would be up for it so quickly.  They were starting to miss the dog and riding next to each other was beginning to wear on them (me too!).  Yellowstone was a trip my husband and I had been planning for years.  We’d looked at pictures and talked about it so often, that I felt at times I’d already been there.  However pictures will never do justice for the beauty of that part of the country.  The Battle of Little Big Horn, Beartooth Pass,Yellowstone Park, Grand Tetons, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore, and The Bridges of Madison County.  If you’ve never been to any of these places and ever get the chance to do so, I encourage you to take the opportunity.  They were stunning!  5,200 miles, 10 days and 12 states. It was a journey and a lot of memories made.

Now we are back to reality.  Paying bills, going to work and getting ready for the kids to start school.  Not nearly as fun as seeing Old Faithful erupt or enjoying the landscape while driving through South Dakota.  I do have the release of Drive Me Sane to look forward to.  Ten days to go! Yes only ten!!  I have to take a deep breath when I think about it.  It still seems a little surreal. Everyone keeps asking if I’m excited.  Stressed, nervous, and can’t sleep because my mind won’t shut down would be better descriptions right now.  Come July 28th, I’ll probably be exstatic, but now I’m overwhelmed.  I know I keep saying I’m going to write that post about things I’ve learned (I still will), but I’m going to go ahead and throw this out there.  I’ve never considered myself a naive person, but I realize there are a lot of things I have no clue about.  Publishing a book was one of them.  If your under the assumption that publishing a book means you write a story good enough to catch an editors attention and that’s it, think again.  Basically that’s what I thought it would be like.  I thought…hey, here’s my book, glad you like it, thank you!  Ha!  Not my luck.  But honestly no, I wasn’t that naive.  I knew a lot of self promotion would go into it and I knew I’d have a hard time doing that.  I’m not a social butterfly, nor could I have ever made a career in sales.  I’m more like here it is, if you like it great, if not, that’s fine too.  Now I’ve been thrown into the world of marketing, in which I have no experience in.  Social media is the way of the world.  I’m pretty okay with that.  I have all the “pages” and “sites” in place.  But how to throw your work out there without becoming annoying or overbearing is the problem I have.  “Now is not the time to be shy.”  I’ve been told that more times than I can count.  I’m trying…really trying and it gives me a stomach ache every time I reach out.  I’ll probably be on Xanex like the characters in my book before this is all over.

So what all goes into publishing a book?  A lot!  Much more than I ever anticipated, but I’m not going to dig into all the small details.  I will say that writing the book and going through the editing process was the easy part. It’s the what comes next that’s hard.  Of course my publisher has their own marketing tools, but they also send you a nice little packet (about an inch thick) of ways to do your own marketing.  Do any of you follow blogs? Maybe some of you have your own.  Mine is very generic, as you can see, but it works.  I’m a simple kind of girl and although there are a few upgrades I’d like to do, most likely this will never get too fancy.  Fancy means more upkeep and that’s something I don’t have the time, knowledge or patience for.  But back to the blogs.  Contacting reviewers or bloggers is one way to market your book.  If you follow any, you know that they are a great asset to whatever their cause may be. Most book blogs offer author/book spotlights, reviews, and will do giveaways- these are all ways to get the word out there.  And let me tell you…there are a lot of book blogs.  Being an avid reader, I followed a few, but had no idea how many there truly were until I started researching them.  So as soon as I received my ARC copy, I began contacting blogs requesting reviews, etc.  I sent a handful out and got one response.  One.  At least they were willing to review it.  None of the other even bothered saying “We appreciated your request, but…”  I know most of these are run in a person’s spare time and are done profit free and they can not accept or respond to every request, so I’m not dogging them in any way.  Please don’t think that.  I’m simply pointing out the frustrations of being a newbie in this industry and not knowing what to expect.  So round two, I sent out a few more.  Still haven’t heard from any of them, but at that point vacation was coming up, so I decided not to stress over it.  Back from vacation, I decided to give it another go around and I finally hit the jackpot.  Okay, so no money is involved, but I did finally get a few responses.  In fact, not only did I get reviews, I got a few opportunities to spotlight my book on their websites.  I also had one person have enough patience with me to talk me along and walk me through some promotional stuff too.  Banners, playlist, character Q&A, author interview, teasers, blurbs, excerpts, trailers, media buy links- I got lost somewhere in all of the things that could possibly be done.  Like I said, I follow a few blogs, I see this stuff, but what goes into putting it together…clueless.  I’m not a wing-it kind of person either.  So for the past week, my nights have been spent researching all these things, looking at different blogs to see how it’s done, checking out other author’s spotlights and playing around with different ideas.  This is what I mean by haveing no clue about what goes into publishing a book, but then again, I guess I really had no concept of what went into marketing a book.  I have no qualms admitting that I’m not all that tech savy and how to put some of the stuff that was requested together went way over my head.  However, I’m proud to say, a few banners later, a playlist on spotify and a whole list of other stuff, and I offically have a media package put together.  I slept better last night than I had in weeks.  So yes, today, finally I’m a little excited, but I’m pretty sure the nerves will hang around until this baby gets launched.  I may have traveled 5200 miles and seen 12 states in ten days, but I still have a ways to go when it comes to this book stuff!

If you’d like to hop on over to Shooting Stars Review and check out what I’ve been working on, click the banner below.  Be sure to enter the giveaway for an ebook copy of Drive Me Sane and $10.00 Amazon Gift Card while your there.

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